UPR SESSION 31

jordan

Review Date: 8 November 2018

 

New and amended laws provide the authorities with excessive powers to restrict freedom of expression, especially online.

The Jordanian authorities have stepped up media control since the previous UPR cycle, especially with regard to online media. The overhaul of the Press and Publications Law in 2012, and the implementation of Cybercrimes Law (2015) and its 2018 amendments significantly curtail freedom of expression.

In June 2016, university professor Amjad Qourshah was detained in connection with a video published on his Facebook page in 2014, which criticised Jordan’s participation in the US-led coalition’s intervention in Syria. In August 2016, author Nahed Hattar was detained and charged with insulting religion for publishing a cartoon critical of Islamic State on his Facebook page.

The Qourshah and Hattar cases are two of a growing list of gag orders imposed by the Jordan Media Commission. Gag orders are increasingly used to restrict the dissemination of information or artistic expression that would be of public interest, and currently undermine freedom of expression standards.

The Jordanian government supported 75% of the 291 recommendations they received during their 1st and 2nd cycle UPR sessions.

 
 
7

The number of recommendations made to Jordan during the 1st and 2nd cycles that explicitly cover freedom of expression online or digital rights.

12

The number of recommendations made to Jordan during the 1st and 2nd cycles that implicitly cover freedom of expression online or digital rights.

 
 
 
 

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Recommendations

 
Ensure that all surveillance of communications is conducted with respect for the right to privacy and complies with Jordan’s national and international human rights obligations
Amend regulations for filtering online content and other forms of online censorship in line with freedom of expression standards, and provide means for citizens to appeal the blocking of content
Amend the Cybercrime Law and Penal Code, ensuring their compliance with international human rights standards and that their provisions do not limit freedom of opinion and expression
Revise and adopt the proposed data protection law through an inclusive and transparent process and establish an independent body with sufficient funding and appropriate powers to enforce it
 
 
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